Safe and secure handling, spillage and disposal of COVID-19 vaccines

Ian Allen, Pharmacy Quality Assurance Regional Specialist (NW), North West Pharmaceutical Quality AssurancePublished

Safe handling

No special staff safety precautions are needed for handling the vaccines. In the event of skin contact with the vaccines, wash with soap and water.  Follow the usual local procedures for First Aid in the event of splashes into the eyes or needlestick injuries.

Vaccine security

Sites must ensure that vaccines are stored securely at all points between receipt and use or disposal. All waste must be handled in such a way as to prevent theft and misuse both on site and after removal from the site. See below for more information about disposal.

Dealing with spillages

Sites should be prepared to deal with spillages of vaccines. SPS has produced a general SOP for dealing with spillages which may be adapted for local use.

The attachment is presented in Word to enable adaptation locally, or as reference source to check that existing local procedures are robust and comprehensive. Within the SOP, red text indicates where detail is to be added locally.

Attachments

Disposing of COVID-19 Vaccines

Discard empty, part-used or waste vaccine vials, and used syringes, into the clinical or medicinal waste stream according to normal local waste management procedures.

Deface outer cartons using permanent black marker pens, and discard via the confidential waste stream.

Refer also to NHS England’s COVID-19 waste management SOP.